Editorial: If we want wildlife to thrive in L.A., we have to share our neighborhoods with them — or we’ll never be able to enjoy the wildlife we do. And that means we need to start thinking about how to connect our neighborhoods to the natural world in such a way that wildlife actually thrives here.
That’s a lot to expect, especially when we live in a place where the only land access is through a car or a pickup, and we walk, bike, or drive for miles to get anywhere. We’ve long known that the streets are not the nature preserves we thought they were — but most of us have been taking full advantage of that by having our lawns mowed, our parks maintained, and our yards edged and maintained (and that’s for the affluent, who can afford to have the lawns and yards mowed, and who in some cases have a lawn with no lawn).
And while we walk, bike, or drive daily to get everywhere we go, we also take our cars and pickups to the grocery store, the dentist, the pharmacy, and other places in which a car is a necessity, and we still use those cars to do things in which cars are not necessary, such as to take the kids to and from school, to get the mail, or to go to the doctor.
In our neighborhoods, we drive only to go to the bank, to send or take the mail, and to go out of town for events we won’t be able to do with public transportation.
So, how do we get wildlife moving in our neighborhoods so they can thrive?
There are a lot of ideas. But we need to start with the premise that we need to take all of our living outdoor spaces out of cars and trucks and buses, and use them instead for wildlife movement:
Create wildlife spaces where all the people who live in a neighborhood use to walk, bike,